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Texas carries out first US execution of 2017

Attorneys had argued to the Supreme Court that the imate had poor legal help at his trial and during earlier appeals

Published: Updated:

Texas has executed death row inmate Christopher Wilkins, who was convicted of killing two men after one of them mocked him for falling for a phony drug deal.

The lethal injection of the 48-year-old Wilkins Wednesday is the nation’s first execution this year. Wilkins was declared dead at 6:29 p.m. local time.

The Supreme Court declined to block Wilkins’ execution about three hours before the scheduled lethal injection. Wilkins’ attorneys had argued to the Supreme Court that he had poor legal help at his trial and during earlier appeals and that the courts improperly refused to authorize money for a more thorough investigation of those claims to support other appeals and a clemency petition.

In their unsuccessful appeal to the high court, Wilkins’ attorneys contended he had poor legal help at trial and during earlier appeals and that the courts improperly refused to authorize money for a more thorough investigation of his claims.

State attorneys said courts have rejected similar appeals and that defense lawyers are simply employing delaying tactics.